Beware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams: How to Avoid Falling Victim

August 29th · 8 min read

Guardio Research Team
Guardio Research Team

The holidays are a time for giving, including spending money on gifts for our loved ones. However, it's also important to know the potential dangers lurking online as we head into Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These two shopping days have become notorious for being a hotbed for financial fraud and identity theft. This blog post will discuss how to avoid falling victim to scams this holiday season.

Holiday season or not, it's always important to be aware of the potential for scams and fraud when shopping online. When we're busy buying presents and making travel plans, it's easy to let our guard down and click on a link without thinking twice. Unfortunately, scammers know this and take advantage of holiday shoppers every year.

What Kinds of Frauds Can You Expect on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Scammers employ a variety of tactics to entice customers into giving them money or personal financial information on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They may try to obtain credit card numbers (to use in a fraud scheme), bank account numbers, phone numbers, social media accounts, and email addresses. The bottom line is that they want to break the law.

Identity theft is a serious issue in which others use your personal information to steal money or perpetrate other crimes. This type of crime tends to spike during the holiday season, as scammers set up phony websites and gift cards and phishing attempts. Most of these scams happen online, but offline fraud is on the rise too.

What are some of the most popular frauds committed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Let's look at different scams to help you be more conscious this holiday season.

Fake Charity Scam

A fake charity scam is when a fraudster creates a fake website or donation page that looks like it's from a legitimate charity. They may use the name of a well-known organization such as the Red Cross or Salvation Army or create a new name that sounds similar to an established charity. The scammer will then solicit donations on this phony site and keep the money for themselves.

To avoid falling victim to this type of scam, make sure you donate only to well-known charities with which you're familiar. If you're unsure about a particular organization, do some research before giving them any money. Also, be wary of unsolicited emails or social media posts asking for donations.

If you are making donations online, make sure you have Guardio, it will help you to spot any suspicious websites and fraud.

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Fake Website Scam

A fake website is a site that's designed to look like a legitimate online retailer. The scammer will set up the site using stolen logos and branding from the real company. They may even create an exact replica of the original site. The fake site will usually have a slightly different web address, so it's important to pay close attention to the URL when shopping online.

When making purchases on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, take the time to ensure you're on a legitimate website. Check for misspellings in the URL and be wary of sites that don't have SSL certificates (look for "HTTPS" in the address bar). If you're unsure about a particular website, contact customer service for the company before making a purchase.

Downloading Guardio and adding it to your browser is another approach to avoid this sort of scam. By blocking malignant websites and notifying you if you inadvertently visit a phony site, Guardio will keep your computer safe. Immediately scan your device for malware and be cautious about every online purchase to ensure there's no malware on your computer.

Phishing Scam

A phishing scam is an attempt by a fraudster to impersonate a legitimate organization and send you an email or text message. The sender will usually include a sense of urgency, such as "Your account has been hacked!" or "We need your credit card information to complete your order." The scammers' objective is for you to click on a link or attachment in the message that would infect your computer with malware or direct you to a fraudulent website.

Never click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails or texts to avoid becoming a victim of phishing fraud. If you're unsure whether a message is genuine, contact the company's customer service. Also, remember that reputable businesses will never request personal or financial information over email or text. Hackers may use fake websites, such as phishing sites and other scam pages, to get access to your device if you accidentally give away sensitive information. For example, hackers will use convincing websites that look real but are frequently visited when clicking on unknown links in emails, social media posts, popups, and ads. Guardio does a much better job than others at detecting these truths because it doesn't solely rely on blacklists.

Coupon Scam

A coupon scam is when a fraudster creates fake coupons and discount codes that appear to be from a legitimate company. They may post these coupons on social media or websites or send them out via email. When you try to use the coupon, you'll either find that it's expired or never existed in the first place. In some cases, the scammers will set up a fake website that looks like the retailer's real site. They'll then offer deep discounts on items and collect payment information from unsuspecting shoppers.

To avoid falling victim to this type of scam, only get coupons and discount codes from trusted sources such as the retailer's official website or email newsletter. And be sure to read the fine print before using any coupons to make sure they're valid.

Fake Delivery Notification Scam

A fake delivery notification scam is when a fraudster sends an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate delivery company like UPS, FedEx, or DHL. The message will usually say that you have a package waiting for you and include a link to track the shipment. However, the link actually leads to a fake website designed to steal your personal information.

To avoid falling victim to this type of scam, never click on links in unsolicited emails or texts purporting to be from a delivery company. If you're expecting a package, go directly to the company's website and enter the tracking number yourself. And remember, legitimate companies will never ask for your personal or financial information via email or text.

Gift Card Scam

In a gift card scam, the fraudster will set up a fake website that looks like a legitimate retailer such as Amazon or Walmart. They'll then post phony ads on social media or other websites, offering deep discounts on popular items if you purchase a gift card from their site.

Of course, these gift cards don't work, and the customer is out of the money they spent on them. To avoid this type of scam, only buy gift cards from the retailer's official website or in person at one of their physical locations. Don't purchase cards from third-party websites, even if they claim to be selling them at a discount.

Non-Delivery Scam

A non-delivery scam is when you order an item online but never receive it. This can happen on Black Friday or Cyber Monday when you're trying to take advantage of a great deal. The fraudster may set up a fake website that looks like a legitimate retailer and post ads for deep discounts on popular items.

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When you try to order the item, you'll be asked for your credit card number and other personal information. But once the fraudster has your money, they never send the product. To avoid this scam, only buy items from well-known retailers you're familiar with. And be sure to read reviews before making any purchases.

Fake Order Scam

You find an incredible deal on a website or social media platform for a popular item that's selling out everywhere. The site looks legitimate, and you enter your credit card information to make the purchase. But after you hit submit, you never receive the product-and your credit card is charged. This scam is becoming more common as scammers set up fake websites and social media accounts that look like real retailers.

To avoid this scam, only shop on websites you know and trust. If you're unsure about a site, research to ensure it's legitimate before making a purchase. Also, be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Keep an eye out for these typical scams at this time of year and any other. If you're ever unsure about a website or offer, do your homework to ensure it's genuine. And never reveal your personal or financial information to someone you don't know.

How to protect yourself from Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, many people are wondering how they can protect themselves from falling victim to common scams. To stay safe while shopping online, follow these simple tips:

  • Use security tools: To protect yourself from harmful advertisements, phishing scams, and other internet dangers, install the Guardio extension on your browser for free. Avoid installing malware and becoming a victim of scams by protecting your online surfing and data with real-time alerts.

  • Be careful with Unwanted Notifications: Notifications and popups aren't only annoying. They're invasive, potentially dangerous, and may signal that your device has malware. Websites that send you notifications are frequently linked to a network of shady malvertising sources, so deleting one won't eliminate them all from appearing. Guardio finds the origin and eradicates the intrusive notifies all at once. Guardio tracks these origins and connections, as well as blocks them all.

  • Never click on links in unsolicited emails or texts: If you're expecting a package, go directly to the company's website and enter the tracking number yourself. Guardio blocks malicious and harmful downloads for our users.

  • Be aware of your downloads: Guardio scans harmful downloads in the initial security scan, and once you start browsing with Guardio's full protection, if you encounter a download that is malicious, you will get a notification.

  • Only buy gift cards from the retailer's official website or in person at one of their physical locations: Don't purchase cards from third-party websites, even if they claim to be selling them at a discount.

  • Be sure to read reviews before making any purchases: Research the website or company before you make a purchase.

  • Never enter your credit card information on a website you're not familiar with: Only shop on websites you know and trust.

  • Be cautious about malicious extensions: These extensions are incredibly harmful and could end up in malicious hands, where they would easily be able to steal confidential information or invade your privacy by installing adware or other malware. Oftentimes, these extensions are disguised as something helpful-- like a PDF converter or weather app-- when they're actually just trying to control your browser settings without you knowing. So always be vigilant and only download what you trust! Guardio scans your device for such extensions, removes them swiftly, and will also alert you before considering installation in the first place.

  • Information Leak Monitoring: When a data breach happens to a service you have an account with, it can put your privacy at risk. Guardio shows you past leaks and can alert you in real-time so that you can take action quickly and prevent identity theft.

Conclusion

With everyone trying to buy gifts online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the internet has become a much more dangerous place. Be extra careful and use Guardio to protect yourself from harmful content, scams, or data leaks.

Run a free security scan in a few clicks

Guardio is a Chrome extension that monitors suspicious activity and blocks hackers from stealing your data.

Verified by Google Chrome.

Instant Results.

4.6/5 based on 1,000+ Trustpilot reviews

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